Thursday, 31 October 2013

a beautiful world Christmas '13 Beauty Boxes

a beautiful world has a gorgeous selection of Limited Edition Christmas Beauty Boxes available for sale from tomorrow - 1st November 2013.

These are exclusive to a beautiful world and if you purchase between 1st November and 25th December you can get 10% off and Free Shipping using code Xmas10.

What a fabulous selection! I'm definitely picking up one or two boxes!  All are full sizes apart from the Yarok Christmas set which contains 4 x 2oz sizes.

Dahliana Overnight Duo £65 - Overnight Fruit Lift Creme and Eye Renew Creme.

Indie Lee Christmas Collection £49 - Brightening Cleanser, Alcohol Free Toner, Calendula Eye Balm and Squalene Facial Oil.

SW Basics Christmas Collection £38 - Cleanser, Toner and Shea Butter Cream.

Yarok Christmas Set £20 - this includes 4 x 2oz sizes - Feed your Volume Shampoo, Feed your Volume Conditioner, Feed your Roots and Feed your Hold.

Luxe Sparkle Kit £29 - Lumiere d'Opale and butter London West End Wonderland Nail Lacquer.

Christmas Bee Box £45 - Bee Venom Eye Serum and Face Mask.

Marble & Milkweed Relax & Unwind £29 - Nourishing Body Oil and Rose & Cardamon Bathing Salts.

a beautiful world very kindly sent me a Relax & Unwind box* which came today - what a lovely surprise. It is packaged in a beautiful box with white festive looking crinkly paper. Gorgeous isn't it!

Marble & Milkweed Trio of Balms £19 - Repair Balm, Simple Cardamon Lip Balm and Simple Ginger Lip Balm.

MuLondon Rose Set £24 - Foaming Face Wash and Moisturiser.

Best of abeautifulworld - Christmas '13 £55 - a box jam packed with full size hero products - Yarok Feed your Youth Hair Serum, Naisture Collagen Face Masks, MuLondon Elbow, Knee & Heel Cream, Konjac Sponge, Marble & Milkweed Nourishing Body Oil and Indie Lee Facial Oil.

See a beautiful world website here - happy shopping!

*PR sample

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

October Books

Bertie's Guide to Life and Mothers by Alexander McCall Smith - the latest slice of Bertie's life, he is excited about turning seven but wishes he was eighteen so he could get away from his overbearing mother Irene. The book features all the usual suspects - Ranald, Tofu, Olive, Big Lou, Matthew, Pat, Angus, Domenica and Cyril, Bruce and Stuart, Bertie's long suffering father - as ever a brilliant read. Roll on the next one.

Trader's Wife by Anna Jacobs - the first part in a trilogy. Singapore in the 1860s, Isabella a penniless Englishwoman who has recently lost her mother. She is unable to obtain a Governesses job and Singapore merchant, Mr Lee offers her a job to teach him English.  A couple of years later he marries her off to trader Bram and they set sail to Australia and a new life.  Super easy reading. Will probably pick up the other parts at some point.

Alex by Pierre Lemaitre - Alex is kidnapped by a stranger and taken away in a white van.  Commandant Camille Verhoeven and his detectives have nothing to go on - no suspect and no lead.  This is a great book full of lots of twists and turns and I didn't really see some things coming.

The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier - Honor Bright is a Quaker who has never really left 1850s Dorset until she decides to emigrate to America with her sister (who is to be married). At the farm with the family she finally ends up living with she secretly helps runaway slaves.  A great read.

Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman - a fascinating read. Piper got mixed up with drug runners during a rebellious stage in her life and delivered a suitcase of drug money to Europe. Ten years on her past catches up with her and she is convicted and sentenced to fifteen months in a women's jail in Connecticut.  You learn about what it's like doing time and meet the wide variety of women she spends these months with. (comedy/drama based on the book available on Netflix).

What have you been reading this month?

October: Lately I've been Loving

I've been coming home these autumnal nights and drawing the curtains, putting the heating on and lighting up some candles (these are my favourite ones although I don't burn them all at once usually!)

L-R - Rosslyn Teacup Candle (review), St Eval's Sea Salt Candle (review), Blossom & Jasmine candle in a chic black glass. This one is Divine - scented with Lemon & Rose - for inner energy. Great for relaxation and easing away anxiety and sadness. A simply gorgeous scent! Neom Refresh travel candle with Sicilian Lemon and Fresh Basil - a fresh and pure scented candle. Jo Malone Red Roses Candle - one of my favourite Jo Malone scents - you only need to burn for a couple of hours for a deep scent lasting well into the next day. Bubb & DIMPLES Breathe Nourishing Body Oil Candle* (review), Melt Verbena & Clary Sage Candle* (review) and M&J London El Capitan Candle* (review).

Delicious cinnamon donuts and a Latte from Crumbs of Portobello - a tasty little snack to have while walking the dog some weekends. 

Reading more books! I actually read 5 this month!  A first and all really enjoyable. Reviews up later.

Hairy Jayne shampoos and conditioners - I picked up the Taster Kit - see here. I'm loving both the shampoos (Deep Cleansing and Nourishing) and the conditioners (Cream and Light). They all just work on my hair and they smell simply gorgeous - they are scented with geranium, bergamot and vanilla.  I'll be buying the full sizes soon.

I had a holiday from work last week - something really decadent about drinking some yummy Prosecco outside in the October sunshine.

Nuxe Reve de Miel Hand & Nail Cream 75ml - I'm going through a lot of hand cream these colder days. This Nuxe one is a favourite having this month used up a mini size. Super moisturising and it smells delicious - scented with honey and packed full of nourishing oils.

What are you loving this month?

*PR samples

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

October Empties

This has been a really quick month. I've hardly used up much. Here are my empties -

GLOW Skincare Rose & Macadamia Face Cream - sample pot - this came from my Souk Souk box. Seemed a nice cream but quite a small pot so hard to tell if it really suited my skin or not.

Naturally Nourished Exotic Body Balm 20g - simply love this exotic scented balm. Have since purchased full size.  See my review here.

Marie Veronique Organics Mist* - simply loved this! See my review here. Will definitely think about placing a MVO order in the New Year.

Dr Organic Virgin Coconut Oil Hand & Nail Cream 100ml - simply love this super moisturising coconut scented hand cream. I've already bought another. I love all the Dr Organic hand creams.

REN Moroccan Rose Otto Bath Oil 10ml - my favourite bath oil. Sure to buy it again. Already been dropping hints to hubby for Christmas.  I reviewed it here.

Naturally Nourished Rose Body Mousse 20g - I bought this at the same time as the Exotic Body Balm but I just didn't like it as much. I would have liked if it had been stronger scented.  Wouldn't buy again.

Botanicals Rose & Camellia Body Lotion 5g - simply gorgeous. One I'm adding it to my ever expanding wishlist.

Botanicals Lavender Balm 5g - this was nice to use too. If I bought it I'd maybe try a different scent. Nicely nourishing and easy to apply.

Marlenha Hyaluronic Acid & Collagen Beads Moisturising Face Cream 50ml* - this was really nice to use.  See my review here. I'd consider purchasing when I've depleted my stash.

REDKEN Color Extend Shampoo 50ml - this was nice enough to use (I've got a couple of other minis to use) but I doubt I'd buy it again as I found it quite drying.

Raw Gaia Organic Coconut Body Butter 15ml - simply gorgeous! Full size is on my to buy list..and soon.

Marble & Milkweed Nourishing Body Oil 3.7ml - this came in the a beautiful world A/W '13 Sampler box. Simply loved it. Full size is on my wishlist.

Sephora Cotton Flowers single use Shower Gel - this was just the right amount for one shower. A friend picked a few up for me on holiday recently. Quite nice but I found the scent a little bit artificial.

this works really rich firming lotion 50ml - this had a glorious jasmine and fig scent. Was a rich lotion but didn't notice any firming action. Probably wouldn't buy - this was a magazine freebie.

Nuxe Reve de Miel Hand & Nail Cream 15ml - simply love this nourishing honey scented hand cream. Have since picked up a full size.

Aromatherapy Associates Relax Deep Bath & Shower Oil 3ml - one of my favourite Aromatherapy Associates scents.  Sure to use again.

*PR samples

Monday, 28 October 2013

Cards & Postcards

I recently picked myself some lovely cards from SnapdragonJust Mosaics and Stephen Mole Photography.

From Jane at Snapdragon I bought two packs of postcards (£4.95 for 6 with envelopes). So handy to have in the house for dropping a friendly note or two.

At Just Mosaics I picked up two packs of cards from Felicity (£12) - aren't they lovely.

I chatted with Stephen on Twitter before liking his Facebook page where I saw this amazing photo of the gorgeous and unique Tuscan trees. I ordered a bespoke card at £5.50 plus postage & packaging of only £1. I'm going to get this one framed.

I also picked these three cards £5.00 for 3.  You can find all the shops by clicking any of the links above.

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Sunday, 27 October 2013

JustBe Botanicals Christmas Gifts

You'll know I'm already a huge JustBe Botanicals fan.

See my posts hereherehere and here.

Gail has brought out some fab Christmas gifts:

JustBe Festive at Home Candle - £25
100% natural and scented with sweet orange and cloves. It has a 45+hrs burn time.

Happiness in a Box - £50
This contains a weekly good habits pad, a JustBe pen, JustBe Happy Body Butter 200g and a Happy at Home Candles burn time 45+hrs.

Tealicious Organic Herbal Tea for Two £45
I think this is my favourite gift. It contains two JustBe branded bone china mugs, 40g of JustBe Happy Herbal Tea and a teapot which has been created for using with loose leaf tea.

JustBe Radiant Skin Gift Set £85
This set contains JustBe Cleansed Cleansing Balm 60ml - it featured in my current cleansers post in June last year - see here.  There are two 30ml sizes of JustBe Hydrated Hydrating Serum and JustBe Radiant Treatment Oil.

Just Be Treatment Candle Gift Set £24.95
A candle which can be poured onto the skin. Light the candle and leave until the soya wax melts. Blow out the flame and massage onto the hands or any other dry areas on your body.  The set comes with a pair of cotton gloves and the candle contains enough wax for 30 hand treatments.  Comes in Active, Energised and Tranquil scents.

See the full range here
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*photos courtesy of JustBe Botanicals

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Jamela Cucumber Soothing & Moisturising Night Gel Face Mask

I was recently sent Jamela Skin Care's Cucumber Soothing & Moisturising Night Gel Face Mask* (£21.75 for 200g) to review.

A lightweight gel which is scented with cucumber which you apply to cleansed skin as a mask just before bedtime.  Upon awakening, rinse your face and you are left with soft, radiant and plumped up skin.  I was a bit worried the mask would rub off on my pillow but it dries on the skin working it's magic while you sleep. Skin repair and renewal is ongoing as you sleep with cell growth and repair taking place combating the stresses of daily life.

In 2007, Basher Al-Eid, a Biochemist Engineer was tasked with finding a way to extract plant collagen and to combine it with botanical and mineral ingredients to repair, moisturise and delay ageing. The result was Mineral Collagen Sheet Facial Mask which was launched under the Jamela brand.

Jamela are famous for their 24k Gold Collagen range - see here.

Have you tried this or any other Jamela products?

See the website here
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*PR sample

Friday, 25 October 2013

Two Recipes from Friends: Vietnamese Chicken & Apple Chutney

Don't you just love it when a friend or two gives you tried and tested recipes which you end up making again and again?  

I first ate Vietnamese Chicken at friends Patricia and Graeme's home. Simply delicious and easy to make and much tastier than any takeaway.

The Apple Chutney recipe belongs to my mum's friend Ann. A simple and foolproof recipe which works everytime.

Vietnamese Chicken

1 packet skinless, boneless chicken thighs

1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tbs brown sugar
2 tbs fish sauce
2 tbs soy sauce
1 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
pinch Chinese five spice powder

Combine all sauce ingredients in a bowl and stir well.

Fry the chicken in a tablespoon oil in a wok or large frying pan. Drain the oil from the pan and pour the sauce over the chicken. Transfer to an oven dish and bake (170C) for 20 minutes or so until chicken is cooked (I forgot to take a pic!)

Chinese Fried Rice
1 beaten egg
chopped spring onions
Boiled rice
2 dsp dark Soy Sauce
2 dsp Oyster Sauce

Heat oil in wok add beaten egg, stirring constantly and taking care not to overcook. Break up the egg with your spoon.  Add the spring onions and cooked boiled rice. Stir in the Soy Sauce and Oyster Sauce. Season to taste.

Delicious! And enjoy.

Apple Chutney

4lb cooking apples cut into small pieces (I used half cookers and half apples from my mum & dad's garden)
1lb onions, diced
1lb demerara sugar
1tbs salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1tsp ground ginger
1tsp mixed spice
1pt Malt Vinegar - I sometimes use half & half with Apple Cider vinegar
1/2lb sultanas

Add everything to a large pan and boil gently for an hour or until dark brown in colour. Make sure you stir constantly to keep from burning.  If you draw your wooden spoon along the bottom of the pan and the mixture doesn't bounce back immediately - it's ready. 

Spoon into sterilised jars - ready to eat immediately - no need for maturing. Delicious with cheese.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Shopping my Stash #37

Here's what I've been reaching for this week - 

Willow Organic Beauty Gentle Cleansing Balm 120ml - a really gorgeous cleansing balm.  See my review here.

Yarok Feed your Ends Leave in Conditioner 2oz - I received this in my A/W '13 a beautiful world box. This product is fantastic. It smells amazing and leaves the hair lightly conditioned and smooth. Love, love, love.

raw gaia Organic Coconut Body Butter 15ml - I simply love companies who offer trial sizes.  Raw gaia have a huge selection - see here. A gorgeous body butter which smells of coconut and melts on contact with the skin. A full size is definitely being bought and soon!

raw gaia Organic Floral Face Toner 10ml - again another trial size. This is simply lovely. Refreshing and slightly floral scented.  My skin is loving it. Another one I'm buying full size.

Naturally Nourished Exotic Body Butter 90g - this is another company which offers trial sizes. I bought this not long after finishing the sample.  See my review here.

Shay & Blue Atropa Belladona natural spray fragrance 30ml - I bought this perfume blind. I'd read about it on The Sunday Girl blog and fell in love!  It's one of the nicest perfumes in my collection.  The fragrances are hand crafted in England and I'm definitely visiting their store next time I'm in London. With top notes of dark cassis berries, heart notes of white narcissus and jasmine with base notes of patchouli and bourbon vanilla. A fuller review will follow.

Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Stick in Plum Jam - I first saw this on Fleur's blog. It gives the lips a glossy wash of colour and tastes of vanilla. Gorgeous!

What have you been loving this week? 

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

OCÉOPIN L'huile de Graines de Pin Maritime

I was recently sent a bottle of OCEOPIN L'huile de Graines de Pin Maritime (15ml - 36 euros)* to review. OCEOPIN is the only French producer of Maritime Pine Seed Oil. I'd never heard of the brand or Maritime Pine Seed Oil and was intrigued.

Maritime Pine is a conifer from the Pinacea family and are grown in the sand along the South Atlantic coastline and in western regions of the Mediterranean basin.

Jean-Jacques Berger and his daughter Marina work together with a permanent staff of thirteen (this swells to thirty in the harvesting period). The pines are collected by hand during October - May and are dried in the open air in wooden pallet bins placed in areas where their scales begin to open naturally in the hot sun.  This is when the seeds are collected.

The seeds are washed, dried and inspected before the oil is extracted by cold pressing, decanting and filtering. The oil is then conditioned with nitrogen. It takes 150,000 seeds to produce a litre of oil.

The oil is rich in natural Vitamin E, essential fatty acids and polyphenols making it one of the richest vegetable oils. It is great for anti-ageing and suitable for all skin types and for both men and women.

To use: massage 3-5 drops over your face and neck or blend with your moisturiser to intensify hydration. It is a clear oil which has a light herby and pine scent.  The oil can be used morning and night.

After use I have found my skin to be more radiant with fine lines and wrinkles smoothed out as well as my skin feeling nourished and hydrated.

You can read more here
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*PR sample

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Hairy Jayne Handmade Haircare - Taster Kit

I only discovered Jayne's gorgeous products yesterday when she followed me on Twitter.  I browsed her shop and decided to treat myself to the Taster Kit (£22 plus £3.50 P&P).  My order arrived this morning! Thanks so much Jayne for such speedy service.

Jayne is a hairdresser who makes her own natural haircare range. She brews, mixes and packages all products by hand in her studio in Brixton. All the products have passed safety assessments performed by a certified cosmetic chemist.

The pretty and unique labels which adorn the bottles are designed and made by Jayne (she used to be a graphic designer).

The shampoos are sulphate and paraben free and mild on the scalp. The are scented with essential oils of geranium, bergamot and vanilla and smell simply gorgeous!

Here is what's included in the Taster Kit:

30ml Deep Cleansing Shampoo - great for using to get rid of product build up or oily scalps. I currently use Redken's Nature's Rescue Detox Shampoo. So looking forward to comparing results.

30ml Nourishing Shampoo - this sounds too good to be true! It hydrates, adds shine and calms frizz and is good for dry, damaged or unruly hair types.

30ml Light Conditioner - a lightweight conditioner which is great for detangling fine hair types.  Looking forward to trying this out.

30ml Cream Conditioner - for hair that's a "little bit frizzy or a little bit dry and needs a little bit of love and a little bit of shine". This is for normal hair types.

50ml Citrus Hair Perfume and Heat Protection - scented with Grapefruit, May Chang and Jasmine it freshens hair up between shampoos. Adds shine, smoothes and protects the hair from heat damage. Can be used on freshly washed hair, in-between washes or before using hair straighteners.  This smells gorgeous and I'm looking forward to giving it a go. It also comes in two other scents Floral and Musk.  See here for more details.

30ml Pre-Shampoo Treatment Oil - if you have a dry, itchy or flaky scalp apply this oil before shampooing to relieve irritation, nourish the follicles and soothe. It can also be used as a leave in styling product to tame flyaway hairs and add shine.

I'm so looking forward to trying these out. Have you used any products from Hairy Jayne before?

See the website here
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